Life seems to be a serious of realizations for me. I’d say revelations, but that seems a bit dramatic. Nonetheless, like a video game character achieving a new level, I seem to find occasional moments where all the pieces just fit together and I get a glimpse of the larger picture that my every day contributes to.
About a month ago, I had one of these moments. I realized that there was something that I wanted to change–something I needed to change. My blog has been quiet for a long time now, and I wish I could tell you it’s because I’ve been writing my book, but it’s not. Sure, I’ve gotten some writing done, but not nearly as much as I would like. The truth is that I’ve been trading my creative time wholesale for everything else. Now, some of these have been goods trades–spending time with my family, some of my video game time, and certainly some of my reading time…other trades, not so much.
I was cleaning up my office at work, which included wiping down a whiteboard that I populate with tasks–some more meaningful than others. I have always admired how one of my co-workers puts inspirational quotes on her whiteboard, but I’ve never taken up the practice; the more I looked at this empty whiteboard, the more I wanted to do the same. But in that moment, feeling a bit trapped and underwater, uncreative, and a touch directionless, standard inspirational quotes just didn’t seem like a good fit. So I chose two that are both familiar, and yet not often quoted by inspirational gurus:
“Either get busy living, or get busy dying. That’s damn right.”
-Red (The Shawshank Redemption)
“What I came to realize is that fear, that’s the worst of it. That’s the real enemy. So, get up, get out in the real world, and you kick that bitch as hard as you can right in the teeth.”
-Walter White (Breaking Bad)
Good role models? Perhaps not. But in that moment, they were the inspiration I needed. Maybe that’s what’s important. Not the inspiration we want, but the inspiration we need.